Posted by: lcowie | September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Hurricane Ike spikes gas prices, causing long wait at the pump

by Lesley Cowie

A line of vehicles wait at the Shell station for an available gas pump. The line almost interferes with the flow of traffic on South Church Street.

For local residents trying to fill their gas tanks on Friday, the wait was extraordinarily long. Some gas stations in the Burlington area ran out of gas, causing residents to rush to the next closest station.

As a result, flocks of cars headed to the few stations only to be met with long lines, Shell service attendant Myra Fuqua said.

“Five or six gas stations in the area have already run out of gas,” Fuqua said. “We only have about 500 gallons left, and that’ll probably only last us another 30 minutes.”

While this Shell station on South Church Street was not limiting gas consumption, other stations in the area were.

“I went to the gas station over by Elon [University], and I could only get 10 gallons of gas,” Alamance County resident Susan Fitch said. “That wasn’t enough to fill up my car, so I came to this service station.”

The line for each pump extended to about four cars. The Texaco gas station across the street encountered the same issue.

For the most part, citizens calmly remained in their cars while they waited, gas station attendant Andrew Ross said.

Although the long lines were a nuisance for many people, it was necessary. Many felt the need to obtain the fuel before it ran out, like Elon University junior Anne Chichester.

Lines at the Shell Smoke Shop add more traffic to the area.

Lines at the Shell Smoke Shop add more traffic to the area.

“All the oil wells in Texas have closed and have been evacuated,” Chichester said. “That’s why everyone is running out of gas.”

Although Hurricane Ike is impacting the shores of Texas, its mere presence is affecting many Alamance County residents.

The Gulf Coast comprises one of the world’s largest concentration of oil refineries and many companies were shutting down earlier Friday while their employees evacuated, according to

“It’s because of the hurricane,” Ross said. “I hear that gas in South Carolina is expected to be close to $5.”

Unleaded gas rose from $3.69 on Friday to $3.99 on Saturday at the Shell Station on South Church Street.


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